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The best kept secret in music


"She's Got The Beat"

Wilmette, Ill., is not known as a producer of rap artists, but the quiet Chicago suburb is both the hometown and lyrical inspiration for K.Flay (Kristine Flaherty, ’07), who is busy defying rapper stereotypes.

Dubbed the “Suburban Rap Queen,” K.Flay sings about everything from frat parties to misogyny in the music industry, and peppers her songs with references to white-kid culture: “On a white picket fence/on a quaint brick street/Where I lay my beats.”

Her career as a rapper began freshman year when, on a whim, she wrote and recorded a song. Friends and dorm mates who heard it asked for more. Emboldened, Flaherty wrote lyrics for several songs, composed the electronic background music known as “beats,” and gave her first live performance at Cubberley Auditorium her sophomore year.

A website followed, a fan base developed, and reviewers took notice. Jots From the Flipside, a MySpace-based e-zine, described K.Flay’s style as “spitting lyrics that simultaneously shock and amuse like a rapping Sarah Silverman.” K.Flay’s debut music video, “The Funk You Need,” appears on YouTube, and she performed in Los Angeles in January.

A double major in sociology and psychology, Flaherty wants to parlay her early success into a career. “Rapping was way too much fun to ever pass up. I love being able to channel my craziest thoughts into something that even my parents and their friends like listening to,” she says. - Stanford Magazine

"K.Flay Is Makin' Ill-i-noise"

Forget your stereotypes about rap. This girl will make you wanna “party real hard like 50 Cent up in the club,” and she’s nothing you’ve ever heard or seen before. Think rap is only for gangsta guys from the ATL? Think again.

Kristine Flaherty, a junior from Wilmette, Ill., has just recently come out with her debut album as K.Flay: “Surburban Rap Queen.” Not only are the lyrics and most of the beats her own, but she can even credit the cover art to her name. It’s different; it’s daring; it’s original; it’s fun; it will challenge your perceptions about who can rap and what rap should be.

This album is a compilation of songs, some composed just this year and others that have been evolving since K.Flay’s freshman year. Ironically, K.Flay started rapping at the end of her freshman year when she was dared to write a rap song after she claimed, “anybody could write a [rap] song.” When her RCC, Mark Slee, ended up putting the parody she wrote to a beat and recorded it things started rolling.

Though she admits she “basically didn’t know what [she] was doing,” K.Flay’s love of hip-hop and music inspired her to keep writing throughout the summer and into her sophomore year.

Even if she concedes her music is “just what comes out” and is sometimes her “at 3 am being insane,” K.Flay certainly has her own style. In fact, this is part of what makes her so unique: her songs seem to blend opinions, ideas and stream-of-consciousness poetry. And although her beats definitely have a more “poppy” feel, some songs like “Hey Ladies” and “Time Stops,” have quite serious messages.

With “Hey Ladies,” probably her most feminist inspired song, there’s “a message that’s not out there at all,” as K.Flay claims, “most female rappers...are [still] playing to misogynistic culture in general.”

However, other songs, like “Frat Party” and “Red Meat” are to K.Flay “whatever seems like fun.” But if you’re only going to listen to one of K.Flay’s songs, make sure to check out track two, “Suburban Rap Queen.” Catchy with a strong beat, this song will introduce you to her unique style.

K.Flay started performing on campus this past spring quarter and this year has performed at Sigma Nu’s Moonsplash and for the SOCA Unplugged series, where she not only showed off her skills but also did it acoustically with a guitar and djembe.

K.Flay is currently pursuing a double major in Psychology and Sociology and lives in Otero as a writing tutor. In the future, K.Flay plans on recording more albums, performing at other colleges and “seeing where things go.” For now, visit www.kflay.com or contact K.Flay directly at kflah@stanford.edu to purchase this innovative and fun album, “Suburban Rap Queen.” - The Stanford Daily

"K.Flay: Suburban Rap Queen and Jester All In One"

K.Flay. Her name rhymes, and so does she, deftly spitting lyrics that simultaneously shock and amuse like a rapping Sarah Silverman. The comparisons to upcoming hip-hopper Lady Sovereign (recently signed by the Don Mega himself, Jay-Z) are sure to come, but a listen to any of her tracks will be enough to prove that K.Flay--self proclaimed Suburban Rap Queen--is more than capable of holding her own in the royal court of rap.

Imagine if you will, suburban Wilmette, Illinois, a quiet town whose history is more than likely a long and boring one, festering in its own juices of anonymity and mediocrity, much like your own town. Now imagine that on June 30, 1985, that suburban silence was shattered by the caterwauling of the fresh-from-the-womb Kristine Flaherty. Sure, the suburban experience may have attempted to suck her into the same-old-same-old monotony of life behind the white picket fence, but something about this girl was *different*. She suffered from the subterranean madness that beguiles all of the greats, craving and hankering for just a little bit more.

She truly hit her stride when she entered the ivy-laden walls of the prestigious Stanford University in California, assembling a ragtag crew of what she calls "relatively sane clowns" that would become her primary source of support in the years to come. It was with these clowns that she jokingly made a bet that "anyone can write a rap song," and her friends held her to it. And so, although it began as a joke, it quite quickly developed into something more. A calling. By the end of her sophomore year, she had written enough songs to record an album, which she did. And, quite suddenly, the revolution had begun.

Every revolution takes time, however, and this one is no exception. Although she has many fans and one badass album under her belt, she doesn't yet feel she's ready for the big time. Not, at least, until 2008 or so, after she finishes college, collects her diploma, and sets her mother's mind at ease. In the meantime, she'll be performing live sets and working on songs for the follow-up album.

It's the track "Pickup Lines"--which sadly didn't make it onto her debut album (Suburban Rap Queen)--that, for me, so effectively wraps up K.Flay's poetry-popping prowess. It's a rousing and light-hearted dance floor ditty whose chorus overcomes you like a virus and should be on your playlists with the rest of the club bangers. If any men out there are still under the mistaken impression that women aren't hormonal creatures by nature, too, this song may very well inform them otherwise ("See a cute dude at this fiesta/Fix up, look sharp, he's all dressed up/I wanna hop inside his trousers/Spill my guts for fourteen hours"). Women, however, have something that many men lack. Standards ("Unwanted choch in my crotch, that's no fun/I'm looking for a fine male specimen"). It was the almost dadaist closing lines, however, that sealed the deal for me: "Kabballah, smoke a baggy joint/Senior citizens have baggy groins."


I e-mailed the beautiful K.Flay with the hopes of clearing up the age-old mystery, and she was kind enough to humor me with an answer.

Why ARE senior citizens' groins so baggy anyway?

"The baggy groin phenomenon appears to be the result of too much Metamucil. Some would argue that gravity plays a small role as well."

As always, a healthy diet and science are the culprits. Which is precisely why I trust neither. - Jots From The Flipside

"URB's Next 100"

Get this: K.Flay has a flow that’s as sharp as Sovereign and versatile enough to transcend genres. Her mad, high-energy beats are self-produced and sound like she’s been working with the industry’s top producers. And can you name any rappers that balance life as a Stanford student and as a Suburban Rap Queen? As she puts it, “I’m definitely not anything manufactured. I’m the bad-ass girl next door. . .who doesn’t do anything bad-ass.” Despite her modesty, this rap girl has a bad-ass style that comes straight from a feral and natural talent. No need for fake floss on this girl. - URB Magazine


Suburban Rap Queen (2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Hailing from suburban Chicago, K.Flay brings a funky fresh voice to the hip-hop world. Her songs range from stream-of-consciousness humor to high-energy head bangers to tracks that tackle misogyny in popular music. A recent Stanford University grad, this young artist has written, recorded, and produced over 40 songs, released a full-length album, and rocked crowds from California to the East Coast with her energetic live show. K.Flay's style is creative and innovative--her debut CD was hailed by the Stanford Daily: "it's different; it's daring; it's original; it's fun; it will challenge your perceptions about who can rap and what rap should be." Featured in URB Magazine's "Next 100" issue, K.Flay was tagged as a "rapgirl with a bad-ass style that comes straight from a feral and natural talent." Armed with dope beats and a vocabulary that would make Webster swoon, she plans to get feet tapping, brains thinking, and masses of fans begging for more.

Check out http://www.kflay.com or http://www.myspace.com/kflay for more K.Flay info.